An alleged juvenile gangbanger was dubbed “Peyton Manning of Criminal Conduct” by a former prosecutor – he may get a dear deal in court – all because he managed to graduate from high school, The Post has learned.
Courtney Yates, 18, a distinguished member of the Lok Nation street gang, has at least nine busted and four open cases in Queens and Brooklyn – including a felony robbery sentence for which she awaits sentencing.
The troubled teen is now back on Riker Island on $ 150,000 bond following another arrest last week for possession of a loaded bogey.
But a judge has considered granting him the status of “young criminal” – which would reduce his jail time and clear his record, sources with knowledge of the case told the Post.
According to court records, Yates is currently awaiting sentencing in the Queens cases after pleading guilty to both offenders on Nov. 18. A fierce robbery from 19 July and a grand larceny / auto case from 9 July.
He also has two open cases in which he is accused of possessing a loaded gun – a Brooklyn bust since May 2019 and his most recent arrest in Queens on 18 February.
The judge in his Queens cases, Youth Court Judge Lenora Gerald, is now considering the position of the YO – as a sign of the teenager’s high school graduation that he could redeem himself, sources said.
Sources said that Gerald is trying to consolidate his affairs with Brooklyn. The judge in that case, Youth Court Judge Craig Walker, would have to agree to the move.
But the news has not sat well with some in the Big Apple criminal justice system.
“At his age, and with his record, and in many open cases, he is Peyton Manning of criminal conduct,” former Bronx prosecutor Michael DiCicaro said in the Post. “He must be running the show in no time. He is a top draft pick. “
“With a record of what I don’t understand, why him?” Continued Discioarro, who is now a defense attorney. “I have very few customers who don’t get this kind of break.”
The state provides judges with the option of giving young criminal law defendants 19 or less, reducing their potential jail time, and sealing their criminal record.
The law is intended to give young defendants a chance to bend their lives – though usually in non-violent or misdemeanor cases.
“In general, courts and legislatures leave little ambiguous room for judicial interpretation, and certainly prosecutors are always hated,” said Jeffrey Butts, head of the Research Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Anytime you’re dealing with someone who is young, you need to allow for the possibility that, even at the age of 22, not everyone is a fully functional adult and sometimes they are hasty I decide. “
A spokesman for the State Office of the Court of Administration, Lucian Schalfen, said Yates was “misled” to speculate on whether he would be given that status.
“While this defendant has pending cases, each is decided before the court on the basis of the evidence, facts and circumstances, on its own merits,” Chanlen said.
But some say that Yates, who has been accused of gun possession at least four times, is already a career criminal, a threat to the community.
A former prosecutor said, “Getting caught with more than one gun means that you carry a gun every day, like you carry a cellphone.” “It is what you think should be punished that comes down. Two guns, three guns. this is madness.”
“Two gun cases are not at fault,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle.”
“The number one solution to reducing citywide firing is to put criminals in jail,” said Paul Dijiaco, president of the Detectives Endowment Association. “The judges have to understand how dangerous the roads have become.”
“Ultimately, it is their responsibility to keep the public safe,” he said. “Putting people in jail may not suit some politics, but the bottom line judges need to worry about the victim of these violent crimes.”
Queens defenders, who represent Yates on their pending court cases, did not respond to calls seeking comment this week.